Around the Rink - Saturday, January 22nd
Here are previews of a substantial slate of 12 games. All start times are Eastern Standard Time (ET).
New Jersey @ Philadelphia
The Flyers are 3-0-1 against the Devils this season, winning the last three in a row. They can keep adding to their division lead by beating up on them again tonight.
Chicago @ Detroit
The Blackhawks have played seven more home games than road games, so to stay in the playoff picture they need to win tough away contests like this one.
Boston @ Colorado
The defensive-minded Bruins (one point lead over the Habs in the Northeast) take on the offensively explosive Avalanche (in eighth place in the West by a point) in this one.
Anaheim @ Montreal
The storyline is obvious for this one: Saku Koivu makes him emotional return to Montreal as a member of the Anaheim Ducks.
NY Rangers @ Atlanta
The two East teams ranked in the top eight that are most threatened by the resurgent Hurricanes face off in this game between scrappy squads.
Washington @ Toronto
As Mike Komisarek makes bad headlines, the Maple Leafs hope to distract themselves by beating the Capitals tonight.
Carolina @ Pittsburgh
It’s unclear whether or not the Penguins will have Evgeni Malkin in this one, which would be a shame since he victimized the Hurricanes in their playoff series in 2009.
Columbus @ St. Louis
Only two points (via shootout/overtime losses) separate the Blues and Blue Jackets, but both teams are out of the top eight in the West right now. Shouldn’t be a lack of urgency, even if the talent on both sides might be a bit scant.
Los Angeles @ Phoenix
With just two wins in their last 12 games, the Kings find themselves falling out of the West playoff picture with every passing game. The Coyotes blanked them 2-0 at home on Thursday and hope to produce similar results tonight.
Calgary @ Vancouver
The Flames are showing a faint flicker of friskiness lately, while the Canucks are facing some rare stumbles. Will Calgary pull itself closer into playoff contention or will Vancouver straighten things out tonight against an opponent who just beat the Dallas Stars Friday?
Minnesota @ San Jose
Both teams are on three game winning streaks and find themselves just a point behind the Avalanche and Blackhawks for the bottom two spots in the West’s top eight. The Wild are fairly strong on the road (13-7-3) so this could be a hotly contested match.